With just three weeks to go before the end of the 2013 school year at the Music Crossroads Academy in Lilongwe, youths with a passion for music are being encouraged to apply for this year’s classes.
Scheduled to open for its second year in April, the academy runs a professional certificate programme which aims to improve the quality of performance in artists who enroll.
The requirements favours young people between 18 and 30 years of age who are passionate about music, although those beyond this age range can be enrolled if they are interested.
The Music Crossroads Academy opened its doors last year with funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“We started with a little over 30 students, but the numbers have dropped over the course of the year due to different reasons. In total, we will have 18 full-time students graduating and five weekend students,” Music Crossroads director Gayighayi Mfune said.
He added: “They have undergone classes in sucjects such as keyboard harmony, rhythmic reading and writing and master classes.”
The aim is to teach professionalism and to build complete musicians who understand music theory but can also apply it to their practice.
For the one-year that artists are enrolled at the academy, they focus on their particular instrument to master it while learning other complementary courses.
“There is so much we have learnt from the year that is about to end, and we are going to apply those lessons this year. We hope that this year will be even better with new possibilities,” explained Mfune.
He said drop-outs were the biggest challenge the academy faced in its inaugural year.
“However, those who were determined with their music careers stayed on to the end, even if it meant travelling to Area 23. They worked hard and have now improved significantly in their playing and music in general,” he said.
Mfune called on more female students to apply this year, since there were only a few in the past year.
“The art industry does have a lack of female players, and the music industry has few women artists. We hope to boost the industry by providing scholarships to female students in the hope of encouraging more young women to pursue their music careers.
“This course will give them more time to develop themselves and build their confidence before they venture into the industry. So, while we are calling on the youths to apply for this year’s classes, we would like to encourage more females to apply as well,” he said.
The academy is fitted with high tech training labs, classes and a resource centre that uses modern computers and software, and has 24-hour internet provision for the artists and students.
Five teachers, who underwent training at the Global Music Academy in Germany, are skilled in a particular instrument that is offered at the academy; thus guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, drums and voices.